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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 11, 2020

An assessment of language attitudes as a mediator in the stereotypes–L2 motivation linkage

  • Larisa Nikitina ORCID logo EMAIL logo and Fumitaka Furuoka
From the journal Linguistics Vanguard


Applied linguists and language educators have long acknowledged the prominent role that language attitudes play in the process of selecting and learning an additional language. The current study examines a mediating role of language attitudes in the StereotypesL2 motivation linkage in the context of learning a foreign language, an area which remains comparatively underexplored. It provides a detailed description of – and rationale for – applying a statistical procedure based on the BaronKenny method, which is rarely used in applied linguistics research. The findings indicate that stereotypes and language attitudes had a positive impact on L2 motivation when the former two variables were examined separately in two different analyses. However, when all the three variables were analysed together, language attitudes were found to remain a motivational factor while the stereotypes ceased to be such. This suggests that stereotypes had an indirect effect on L2 motivation through language attitudes. Hence, language attitudes were a mediating variable in the StereotypesL2 motivation linkage assessed by the BaronKenny method. These findings have some pedagogical implications.

Corresponding author: Larisa Nikitina, Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, E-mail:


Student Questionnaire

Dear Student,

This questionnaire explores your views about Japan and your experiences learning the Japanese language. This is not an exam, and there are no “correct” or “wrong” answers. Your sincere opinion is the correct answer. Your answers will be treated as confidential. Returning this form to the researcher implies your consent to participate in this study.


  1. What images or mental pictures come to your mind when you hear the words “Japan” and “Japanese”? Write as many words or short phrases as you need in the space below. (You can write in English or in Malay).

  2. Mark your general attitude toward Japan as a country on the ‘thermometer’ below. The zero degree (0°) indicates a very negative attitude; 100° (100°) indicates a very positive attitude.

  3. Mark your general attitude toward the Japanese people on the ‘thermometer’ below. The zero degrees (0°) indicates a very negative attitude; 100° (100°) indicates a very positive attitude.


In this section, words that have opposite meanings are placed at the two ends of the line. Place “√” at the side that describes your opinion most correctly.

In my opinion, Japan as a country is

not attractive ___:____:____:____:_____ attractive

I think that the Japanese people are

not unpleasant ___:____:____:____:_____ pleasant

PART III. Circle (O) or tick (√) your answer to each of the following questions

1 = Strongly disagree (SD); 2 = Disagree (D); 3 = Neither disagree nor agree (N); 4 = Agree (A); 5 = Strongly agree (SA)

No Questions SD D N A SA
1 Knowledge of the Japanese language will be useful for finding a job. 1 2 3 4 5
2 Learning this language will enable me to better understand the ways of life in Japan. 1 2 3 4 5
3 Learning this language will enable me to appreciate Japanese art and literature. 1 2 3 4 5
4 A good proficiency in the Japanese language will bring me some financial benefits (e.g., translation job, etc.). 1 2 3 4 5
5 Learning this language will enable me to know the ways of life in Japan. 1 2 3 4 5
6 Knowledge of the Japanese language will increase my job opportunities. 1 2 3 4 5

PART IV. Please provide some information about yourself

1. Gender: Male □ Female □ 2. Age: ______________ (as of your last birthday)



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Published Online: 2020-11-11

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